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I would like to say that I am glad that I found Stack Overflow. This is a great site: I can ask questions and get answers quickly.

But I would also like to say that sometimes, after I've asked a question and received several answers, I'll have a problem with implementing one of them and respond with a comment... Only to be ignored by the author of that answer.

There's a lack of comment-response-back in Stack Overflow... It's like people are really hungry, they get a question (food), then they try to answer it and leave (eat and run). They don't make the mission fully complete (pay the check? help with the dishes?)

I hope you understand, and wow that was a bad analogy above, but maybe you'll get my point anyway.

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5 Answers 5

I checked out some of the answers you've commented on, and... I actually see quite a lot of back-and-forth. More than I usually see on SO answers...

SO works best when you can describe, in your question and preferably succinctly, a specific problem with enough detail that someone reading it who is familiar with the topic can identify the problem and present a solution without lots of tedious conversation.

...Actually, SO works best when you can find an existing question matching your problem and those criteria that already has an answer. That's why conversation tends to be discouraged: if I have to read a whole chain of messages before I can determine whether or not my problem matches what's being discussed, it's going to take a lot longer for me to wade through SO and find a solution.

If you find yourself engaging in lengthy discussions on every question you ask, consider that you may not be doing a very good job of presenting your problems and thus aren't getting effective answers.

Alternately, you may be trying to ask follow-up questions in comments rather than posting them separately as new questions - this is also an ineffective way to use SO, as it relies on one individual working with you in order to resolve multiple problems... and individuals get bored and go to bed.

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1  
+1 For the bit that was hard to read :) –  David Hall Feb 14 '10 at 22:45
    
I ask follow-up questions that are too subjective to actually be asked on SO, like this one: do you think this is a bad idea? –  Yar Feb 15 '10 at 1:46

My recomendation:

Give them rep-incentive to help you.

Don't accept an answer until they help you. This may give them more incentive to help you further.

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what is rep-incentive? and i am not accepting any answer, but its like they dont care.. –  Azzyh Feb 14 '10 at 21:32
    
In that case, there is probably not much you can do. The rep-incentive is the 15 points you get for having your answer accepted. –  jjnguy Feb 14 '10 at 21:39

From just the handful of questions I've looked at you have received answers from very helpful, very engaged people who are doing more than the usual amount of effort to give you what you need.

Most of your comment trails after five or six messages deep - this is more than usual.

Beyond agreeing with the answers that suggest you review you questions, I'd suggest the following:

  1. Edit your question with all the new information. It looks like you are getting good answers and then realising that you were looking at a browser specific issue.
  2. Consider offering a bounty on questions. Perhaps the extra work to get your question over line requires an extra reward, past providing the initial working but not perfect solution?
  3. Perhaps it is time for a new question? If you have enough new information, sometimes your question has actually changed focus enough that it doesn't resemble what was asked. In this situation I'd say asking a new, refocused question is perfectly valid and will give a nice fresh slate for some more exact answers.
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I'd say that a need for much dialog is a sign that someone (either asker or answerer) has been unclear: that is, that either the question or the answer wasn't very good.

If things are clicking over just right, SO shouldn't need or have much dialog.

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Well, this is sometimes certainly a side-effect of SO's reputation system that is otherwise one of the things that make the site work so well. Some answerers will stay for follow-up questions, some won't.

On the other hand, it is a question-answer site in the sense that there is supposed to be a question, and one or more good answers to it. SO is not a discussion forum as such.

If a follow-up question does not get answered, it is usually perfectly legitimate to open another question, as long as it's not really every trivial step to a common problem.

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